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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  May 17, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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frmgs this is cnn tonight. i'm don lemon. what happens to people who move into the president's order? are they willing to -- or do they end up showing their true believes and true sevlts? tonight we're looking at the big picture and a good place to start is the attorneygeneral willium barr.
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because many are asking does president trump funal finally have the attorn a general he's wanted from day one, that will do the president's bidding? and is he acting more like the president's attorney than the chief law enforcement officer of america. >> you also said back in april that you thought there was spying going on in the trump campaign. when do you think that start snd >> i'm not going to speculate. woor arer dp we're going to find out when it started. i've found a lot of the answers have been inadequate and some of the explanations don't hang together. so in a sense i have more questions today than i did when i first started. >> chris wallace of fox news is now saying barr quote is clearly protecting this president and advocating his point of view and this breaking news.
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the former fbi director james comey calling out bar sawing he should stop sliming his own department. max is the author of "the corrosion of conservetism why ilift the right." and i read a small part but let me guv you the whole thing. the ag should stop sliming his own department. if there are bad facts, search or tell us and show us what you found a. they must act as an organization based on truth. donald trump has enough spokes people. unprecedented to have this open war of words. >> and i think comey is absolutely right. i think bar's conduct is just despike lk. just when you think it can't get possibly worse, it does.
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i mean today with the interview that you were just playing a clip of from fox news and the comments he made to "wall street journal," barr is basically endorsing it donald trump's conspiracy theories about the fbi spying on him, about this being a witch hunt, with barr sawing he could well understand why donald trump would see this as a witch hunt. that is ridiculous. this is -- this assassination campaign against the fbi that donald trump has launched to besmufrp their reputation and thehead of the justice department is supposed to stand up for the men and women of the fbi. he's not supposed to sling them overboard. what barr is doing is terrible. i've never seen worse misconduct by an attorney general. if there was a less partisan senate, he would deserve to be impeached.
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>> one more question. dayou think we need hear from robert mueller to put some of this ongoing fighting here? >> yes, we definitely edo but it looks like the administration is trying to block mueller from testifying eve though barr has said it's up to mueller whether or not he wants to testify. there's a news report that mueller is waiting for an office of legal counsel as to whether they're going to claim executive privilege, things he can't testify about. so this is absurd and no reason why mueller should put up with it. he does not need to remain a justice department employee. he can just quit and testify. i think it's imperative for him to do that right now. >> and william barr doubling down sawing there was unauthorized spying on the trump campaign and defended the use of
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the word "witch hunt" to describe the investigation. why is the top law enforcement officer fuelling conspiracy theories? >> well, don, we may not know the answer to that but i think what we know is it this is an extraordinary breach of protocol and regulations as well. the chief law enforcement officer, as you said, is not enoly not supposed to be fuelling conspiracy there as but there's an ongoing investigation can which he himself has ordered up for questionable political reasons but nonetheless there's a ongoing investigation. he shouldn't be commenting on at all. and if it was anyone else, he'd be screaming bloody murder. it's an unbelievable breach, not just of norms but i believe of his own standard of conduct. he's not posed to be doing this, number one. and the senate would be looking into this as an enormous breach
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of protocol and potentially an impeachable offense of the attorney general. it's astonishing. >> it is blindly partisan. he chose to do an interview with and i'm talking about on fox news. he doesn't go on other networks. and take tougher questions about why he's doing it. he said one thing during the conformation hearings and ends up ferreting the president's conspiracy there as. it's blatant. it's obvious. >> first of all it is partisan. but it's even nmore insidious i that it attacks directly the legitimacy of our entire system off justice. to have the chief law enforcement officer talk about crazy conspiracy theories in the middle off annings have. essentially you're saying the system of of justice is broken and it no longer functions in an
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independent and neutral way. the process is dead. >> lot of people gave barr the benefit of the doubt when he got to the doj because of his long and reputable career. did you give him the benefit of the doubt as well in the beginning? >> absolutely. because i naively thought he would want to uphold his reputation. he would not want to incinerate his reputation on the alter of donald trump and clearly i misjudged him. >> we have seen how he has changed in trump's orbit. why does this happen to people close to this president? >> that's a great question, don. i mean -- >> did i stump you, max? i've never seen you at loss for words? >> i moean that's a great question. it's like some kind of force field that causes people around them that warps their judgment
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and good sense and you would think somebody like bill barr who's been around washington his whole life would be immune to it but he's not. and they've suggested he has an ideological commitment to power itself, at least when the president is a republican. i'm at a loss to explain it frankly. what he is doing is so bad, so heinous. requires not just bads for the country. it's badded for his own reputation. why is he not standing up to the justice department that he has led -- now leading for the second time in his life? it's truly puz lk. but all we knoefor sure is he's acting in a way no attorney general should act. and there are ought laugh opeople that act like no government employee should act. they're acting as donald trump's henchman and that is wrong. >> maybe they're showing us who
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they are. maybe that's just who bill barr is. >> i did write in 2016 that i thought that donald trump was go took be a character test for the republican party and sadly almost the entire party has failed that test. and your seeing bull barr fail. >> while flynn was co cooperatinging with mueller, he said to keep the pressure on he even sent an eagle and a flag 50 gifts the day barr was confirmed. why would he do that? >> you keep wanting understand able to get inside theheads of these folks. i can't begin to get. >>icide their heads. but theactions are extraordinar. they speak to a willingness to use the traditions of american
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law enforce frment for donald trump's personal aims for something extraordinary and unusual. i think max's point and your point is right. donald trump is like an x-ray machine for those around him. you see this sort of naked ambition. whatever it is that's driving people to do things that are just wholly outside the previous norms of american politics. i can come back to the fact that it's undermined our credibly overall of our justice system because one minute they're attacking the mueller investigation. the next being hailed. the next minute we're having the investigators and the net result for ordinary people looking at the spectacle is to say this system is broken, it's rugged. even if people at the top don't believe in credibility. sowhat is the message you're sending to the american people? and in contrast behavior of
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oattorney general william barr with christopher ray and i think you see the difference between someone observing the norms of government, not speaking out in the middle of an ongoing investigation, versus somebody who's decided to go along with with trump's blowing up of the system. >> i always sayiit's a cliche b what dgos around comes around. if there happens to be a democratic president in office, all hell will break loose. have a great weekend. the president refuses to it join the call for action. i want to talk to a woman who is doing everything she can to fight that fight. the mother of heather heyer is here next. i didn't really know anything about my family history. went to ancestry, i put in the names of my grandparents first. i got a leaf right away. a leaf is a hint that is connected to each person
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there were smoking sections on airplanes, in restaurants. and then gradually it got to be where it wasn't anywhere. it's not part of the social norm anymore, it's not accepted. i was at a party this summer and there wasn't a single person smoking. even in my own home, i had my own designated space to smoke. if i think about it, it really was like i was punishing myself. it was really a friend of mine that said, why wouldn't you just try the juul. and i thought hmm... ok, i'll try it. and so i went out and i bought one. the idea of going back to smoking is... i couldn't even imagine doing that. i just don't enjoy it anymore. i don't think anyone including myself thought that i could switch.
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you're having one more bite no! one more bite! ♪ kraft. for the win win. [ chuckles ] so, what are some key takeaways from this commercial? did any of you hear the "bundle your home and auto" part? -i like that, just not when it comes out of her mouth. -yeah, as a mother, i wouldn't want my kids to see that. -good mom. -to see -- wait. i'm sorry. what? -don't kids see enough violence as it is? -i've seen violence. -maybe we turn the word "bundle" into a character, like mr. bundles. -top o' the bundle to you. [ laughter ] bundle, bundle, bundle. -my kids would love that. -yeah. the trump administration
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refusing this week to join an international pack that aims to fight spread of hate and extremism on social media. her daughter, heather heyer was murdered by a white supremacist in charlottesville in 2017. thank you so much. and -- >> thank you. it's an honor to be here. >> absolutely. you lost your daughter at the hands of a neo-nazi in charlottesville. many of those same extremists promoted that rally online before it took places. now the administration won't join an international effort to fight this. how does that make you feel? >> um, honestly i'm not surprised. i'm not sure how much to say beyond that but i'm not surprised. it >> it is strange times we're living in and during the break i
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said how are you doing and your answer was? you said this is your new normal. >> oh, well, it is. >> talk to us about that. >> my new normal is -- well, here it is 11:00 at night and i'm in a portable studio because i'm willing to dathat when i think it's important and i will drive to d.c. and talk to members of congress if they want and i will work late into the evening. i will get up early. i've been known to work all sorts of evening, weekends, whatever. i don't have a 9:00 to 5:00 job. i it don't have a steady paycheck. i dedon't have any semblance of a normal life now. i am unique laesuited to not having a normal life. i've always been accused of not
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being able to hold to a schedule anyway. inmany ways i was made for this job but not something i wanted or asked for. >> you said it was important to you. what it do you want people to know? why is it so important? >> i want people to be aware that hate has consequence. that when we start with the ugly rhetoric, when we start trying to label people as us and them, that there are consequences to that. there are natural consequences to that. and that leads to violence. violence leads to death. i mean that's what killed my daughter. >> you testified on capitol hill about white supremacist violence just a couple of days ago. and i just want to play a little bit of that and then we'll have a discussion. watch this. >> i have been guven a huge platform across the it country.
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in some forms even around the world because i'm white. andmany black parents lose their children,many muslim parents lose their can children, jewish people lose their children and nobody pays attention. and because we vethe myth of the sacredness of the white female i've been given a platform so i'm going to keep using that platform to bring the attention back to what the issues are. >> what is the number one thing you would like to see this administration do? >> i would like this administration to not only give -- to not only say that they decry hatred, that they decry extremism, that they decry people acting hatefully towards one another but to give that can example off not doing those things.
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>> the fbi director christopher wray just last week said white nationalist violence is a persistent and pervasive threat. do you believe the trumped a mun stragz has emboldened white supremacy and far right extremism? >> i personally couldn't tell you one way or the other. but i willtle you thex tremests themselves will say he gave them a platform. that he's given them a nod, a wink, a go ahead and a rise unapproval that they haven't had in many years. those are words from david duke, richard spencer and others. >> if the president were watching, what would you say to him? >> well, i've always said the same things i say to the president, which can are number one always think before you speak. always tell the truth.
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and be accountable for your actions. the same thing i would say to fifth graders, the same thing i try it to say to myself. it's just a basic tenant of of being a decent human being. >> susan bro, we appreciate your time and thank you for standing up and doing what is right and we are deeply sorry for your loss. thank you for coming on tonight. >> thank you so much. thank you. >> we'll be right back. look. at. that.
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pete buttigieg making
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intertsing comments about the lgbtq and african-american communities. i want to discuss. hel eo o,ger to have all of you on this evening. in an interview with conservative radio host hewt, mayor buttigieg if african-americans regret the assimilation? >> you look at the truject raeof equality for lgbtq people and compare it to the struggle going on with black america till this day and you got to ask a question how come one moves so quickly and the other is plotting along generationally at such a slow pace and as someone part of a group of people that's been pushed to the side in one way, i think i have that much more responsibility to be there to stand up to people that are on the wrong side of racism.
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>> what do you think of what he's saying? >> i think that pete is doing his best to have empathy and understand the plight of black americans and i think that's a great thing. i've done a lot of work at that intersection of being black and lgbtq. >> that is -- lussen -- >> yeah. yeah. >> but that is a real question. >> i mean it is and the question remains. i think pete did a pretty good job responding to it. i think the question remains can he actually connect with african-americans in a way that isn't just me too, me too but i understand what our differences are and i empathize with what's happening unyour community because i get it. i believe he authentically is trying.
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>> so yes. the question will be -- i'll get to you guys in just a sec. the question is going to be why didn't he edo that before? why now? >> yeah. that is always going to boo the question. >> why don't you have those connections with people? >> and he was asked why he came out as late as he did. you can't reinvent the past and i think everybody has their reasons for doing things in their own time. we can debate like hey, what are your motivations? but i it think it's bout what are -- >> if you're going to run for president of the united states, you have expect these questions. >> incan deed. >> there's a long way to go towards full tolerance and equality. but do you think he's right that there's a discrepancy with the relatively quick progress that
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lgbtq people have made and the progress of the black community? >> well, i mean -- that's a tough question. a -- how do you quantify that? but i do think he's doing a really egood job off making an effort. because he knows he has a problem here and politically even though he's been polling quite well, he's been polling terribly with black americans. i think a lot of opeople dont know who he is yet and he hasn't spoken to issues the black community cares about the issues he has with policing and things, he incidents as mayor oof south bend that didn't look very good initially. and he needs to make sure he ecans areinate if he thinks he's going to get past south carolina in the primaries given they're third in line. new hampshire, iowa and south
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carolina which has a predominantly black electorate in south carolina. so politically, imperically he has to start making end roads and getting people to listen to him and the fact he is so intelligent and thoughtful, i think he is warming people up to what he has to say and do a better job speaking more specifics. and he has a 27-point plan out now. so that's a start. >> mayor buttigieg resooved surprising support. >> it's just great to see that you have a guy there on the stage with his husband and it's normal. >> i think it's absolutely fine. i do. >> but is it a sign off great progress in the country? >> yeah. i think that's great.
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something that perhaps some people will have a problem with. i have no problem with it whatsoever. >> we see the president's more progressive social roots showing. how is that going to land with his more socially conservative supporters? >> it will land just as it did when he ran for election in 2016 and run the white house. look, it is no surprise that he is going to be more beholdn to promises to the social evangelicals to the nod to the lgbt community and i think everyone knew all along that candidate trump and president trump was more socially liberal than most normal conservative candidates that are run ning on the republican ticket. but at the end otelevise day he can say that on television which i think gets a lot of good press from the lgbt community. but in term oz of following through in term oz of a policy
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standpoint, we recognize the fact that nothing will change. mike pence is someone that will be forefront and continue to be the leader on the social evangelical wing oof the donald trump administration and will continue to push for traditional marriage and issues along the traditional marriage standpoint and he will represent thissed a mun stra ministration and he just had the opportunity to say it out loud. >> pete buttigieg said it's lip service. >> the president has been a complete hypocrite his entire presidency so far. so he can say i don't care about the fact that who's married. but everything he's done from day one in terms of the people he's appointed, the vice president he chose, hanging out with steve bannon. everything has been antilgbt kwx. he pulled back some safeguards with the obamaed a min spration.
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the military transgender ban and on and on. >> i appreciate all of of you. we're going to talk howard stern and the "n" word and black face. e to be eye-catchingly beautiful. we make them to be exhilaratingly agile. we make them to be meticulously engineered. and for the cla, we also made it for this. the 2019 cla. lease the cla 250 coupe for just $299 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. if you have moderate to little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
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check out this time-space wormhole i created. - how's it work?
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- let me see your togo, and i'll show you. - earl! you have my lunch. - pretzelrami is back, with our famous pastrami and a bigger soft pretzel roll. and try the new turkey bistro with warm turkey and smokehouse bacon. or the new hot club chicken dijon with black forest ham. the new hot pretzels, only at togos. how far would you go for a togo? radio host howard stern facing tough question on "the
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view" on the "n" word and his show. >> i was in the college in the '80s and i found your show so offencive. >> thank you. >> that's what i figured. you were shock jock. you use the "n" word a lot. >> i use the "n" word? wait a second. hold on. no. we had a guy on from the cue can clux clan that very freely used the "n" word. i didn't use it. let's be very clear. er >> but there's recently unearthed video back in 1994, he dressed in black face and using the "n" word. let's discuss with kamau bell. but it's howard stern dressed up as ted dance.
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remember he went to the fryer's roast in black face and sherman hemsley from "moving on up" is playing whoopee. it was a eshoin 1994. what's your take? >> this is not breaking news. howard stern is occasionally offenseival. this is howardstern's brand. there's a lot of talk about comedians afraid of being ofnsive. you can't real a take them down. people try to take howard stern down regularly in the '90s and finally they were like we'll put hum on satellite radio, give hum a billion dollars and let him cook. i think it's ridiculous. >> i mean i have to admit i'm a howard stern super fan. i'm not part of the wack pack. but he's the best interviewer out there.
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he has evolved over the years. who's still edge a e, not quite as controversial as he used to be. the thing is was black face ever acceptable or are we looking at 1994, things in the '90s through a 2019 lens? >> i mean he knew by using black face he was being ogfenceival. that was lot of what he did and maybe does to a lesser extent now but he was putting his hand on the third rail. i don't think -- to even try to get hum to apologize it for it, that's what he does. you look at somebody pg offensive as don rickles through one with a special called "fire in the maternity ward" >> it is really good. >> you can't take me down because i'm owning bhaut i do. the problem is when it's not therabrand and then people call them out and they get stuck in a middle zone of i don't want to
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back off because i don't want to look weak but i kind of should apologize. there's certain ones you're never going to get them to apologize. i'm not advocating for other comedians to be like me. >> here's the thing. he's on satellite radio right now. howard makes fun of everybody. he's jewish. he makes fun of jews. he makes fun of his hair, long nose, his personal body parts. he's an equal opportunity offender and not one to apologize. i want to talk about your shoebecause you explore topics like this on your show "united shades of america" you went to mississippi to talk about reeproductive rights. >> take me to this little clinic place. they put me in a room. now this room has religious
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stuff around. >> a room has to be really religious in the south for somebody to say it's religious because everybody's got some stuff. >> exactly. >> the clothes you're in. >> old black lady comes in. she's like oh, well, is this your first pregnancy? no. this is not my first epregnancy. i have a baby. and she said do you have a picture of your baby? and i said i have a picture on my cell phone. and she said what if somebody culled titan? and i was like this must be what hell is like. er >> what did you learn in this episode? >> that as much asb i went down to jackson, mississippi, we went to the last abortion clinic open and i thought it was going to be ea sat, depressing episode and there is a lot of anxiety right now. but there were people who knew the train was coming and there
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to fight and stand up for reproductive rights and justice. with everything in alabama, people are really scared. and i understand that. when you talk to activists on the ground, they know it's real and hard and they're not surprise fwhi surprised by the things that are happening. she believes roe v wade will be overturned and it's the job of the activists on the ground to be ready efor it. >> and a lot of people feel that way considering what has happened. i always love your perspective and love watching your show. sunday at 10:00 p.m. right here on cnn. we'll be right back. (music throughout)
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this week we've been bringing you stories of remarkable people mocking lasting impacts around the world. we call the series champions for change. it's our chance to revisit the change makers out there making a difference. and erin burnett first met him after his church in new york was on the brink of total destruction. overwhelmed but not broken, pastor williams vowed never to give up. today, almost seven years after the stormt, he is still preaching faith and perseverance. >> reporter: for the
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parishioners of st. john baptest chufrm, sunday is a day to give thanks. and for pastor j.d. williams there is much to boo thankful for. >> sandy took it the luf out of this church and now this church has been resurrected from the ashes. and there's life here. >> almost seven years ago superstorm sandy ripped the community of far rock away, new york, outside manhattan, and left a path of it destruction up and down the coast, causing billions in damages. >> this is a serious and big storm. >> i remember tragedy and darkness and despair. that's what i remember. >> reporter: more than 200 houses of worship were under water. st. john daptest less than a
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half a mile from the ocean was hardest hut. i first met him here in 2012 just days after sandy hit. >> we need help. and i dedonon't know even where begin with all that we need. it's just overwhelming right now. . >> before the storm roughly 20% of rockaway peninsula's population was living below the poverty level, struggling with unemployment. >> everything we had was destroyed. every thought in my head was how we're going to survive this, but we didn't give up. >> i remember coming here and seeing a place destroyed. >> hundreds of parishioners have always relied on st. johns for the basics, food, clothing, transportation, day care. >> everything in the church on the lower level was under six feet of water. >> mr. price carried for children at the church for more
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than a decade. >> it was devastating to see all the work we put in, the equipment, the toys, the books, destroyed. it made me feel so sad but i always had the hope we would open it up again. >> all this was the day care. >> pastor williams vowed to rebuild. only he had a big problem. >> there was no money from fema for places of worship at all. >> no money for places of worship. >> how did it feel when you found that out? >> i felt a sense of abandonment, forsaken. >> many churches were destroyed. >> on a after we first aired the story in 2012 pastor williams says that feeling of abandonment began to change. >> you are blessed because through that interview people from across the country started
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sending donations to the church. >> people could see one story about one place and raise their hand and reach out and they made a difference. >> the difference between 2012 and today is striking. >> i remember walking in here and sort of gasping because of how awful it looked. >> yes, yes. it was just an absolute disaster. >> it looks wonderful now though. you really have changed it. >> you wouldn't know that this was the same room. >> no, you would not. >> at all. >> the entire first floor has been rebuilt. >> so then everything in here is -- >> is new. >> is new. a new boiler and hot water system, a new baptistry. >> this is now the baptistry. >> the church is even providing math and reading tutoring for kids on the weekends. >> i think we're up to maybe 25, 30 students. >> a church once again helping fill a gap in its community. but one thing still missing, the
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day care. >> there's still a need. >> there's still a need, yes. >> do people in the congregation ask you? >> they come with children and when's the day care going to open? we can only say we're working on it. >> joy will come in the morning. >> there's a lot to be done but the church was saved. >> we cried a lot. we shed a lot of tears because it was our home but we celebrate now because we see the victory. >> and for pastor williams that is the key. >> tragedy and triumph. >> each time we face a tragedy we've experienced thereafter a triumph. so joining me now is erin burnett. wow, erin, the church looks great now they've really come so far. i understand they're also in the middle of renovating their kitchen so that they can provide mal meals to the community. >> that was so important for so many people and they're on their way. they're using a storage room
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right now. they've got a stove and a microwave, and a secondhand industrial stove. their on their way. they want to open the day care, not there yet. a lot of expenses associated with that. to me, don, one of the hardest things i learned is that they still don't have vans and that has resulted in some of the elderly who used to come to the church not being able to come. it's hard for them to take public transportation and get there. those vans really were a lifeline. they don't yet have those. they are coming back but it goes to show you it can take so, so long for recovery. but they -- some of those members that we met there have been involved for decades in that church and they are going to do whatever they can to provide those services. >> well maybe someone will watch this and they'll get some help with those vans. i certainly hope so. this story shows you where there's a will and there is a way. it's taking a long time but they're doing it. >> it's amazing what a
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difference the people who reached out and gave them money, made such a difference. >> erin, thanks so much. we'll be sharing these inspiring these stories this week and tune in saturday night at 8:00 p.m. for an hour long champions for change special. we'll be right back. ♪ rub-a-dub ducky... and then...there's national car rental. at national, i'm in total control. i can just skip the counter and choose any car in the aisle i like. so i can rent fast without getting a hair out of place. heeeeey. hey! ah, control. (vo) go national. go like a pro. it's toughcold turkey.king
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recently two cnn heroes joined fors to help a young girl. free housing and support for sick children and their families while they receive medical treatment. together they worked to deliver the gift of mobility to a child at his shelter in peru. >> he sent me a little video of a little girl who's 8 years old. she has cerebral palsy. she's been in a stroller her whole life. it's time, don't you think, for her to have a wheelchair to call her own? look what we have for deleska. we have to think of everything. she's going to grow with this wheelchair. >> this chair is going to be fantastic. she's going to be so happy. she's going to have a better life. >> to see the whole heartwarming

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